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A Restaurant Poltergeist

 

I have experienced many strange things, including apparitions as a tween and unexplained movements by inanimate objects as a teenager, but the following story clinches it for me when it comes to believing in "ghosts."

One of my first jobs with any real responsibility was as the cook at the first Cajun/Creole restaurant in town on Bardstown Road, Cornucopia, in the Louisville Highlands (the building is still across the road from the Taco Bell two houses up from the Highland Taproom Grill). Prior to becoming Cornucopia, it was an antique store owned by an older woman who reportedly died in her apartment above the business, and before the renaissance of dining in Louisville and "Restaurant Row" on Bardstown, many eccentric, old women ran similar stores which never quite made it.

Many odd things had already occurred prior to my experience, including utensils and pans falling from hooks in the kitchen directly behind you as you passed beneath them for no reason. There was also a female server, who was also a stripper, who claimed to have been pushed in the back as she went down the stairs by no one. Our theory concerning this was that "Matilda" (my name for the old lady) was angry at having a 'hussy' on the premises.

At the top of these stairs, which were quite steep, you turned around to enter the stockroom at the first door on the right. Further down the landing/narrow hall, was the bathroom at the end, and the office through a separate door on the right as well. The stock room and office were directly over the kitchen. The stock room connected to the office through an arched doorway which was blocked by two upright freezers, so you could see in between them into the office but you could not squeeze through.

One early afternoon, I got to the restaurant before anyone else. I was in the stockroom changing into my work clothes (Cajun is heavy on the seafood and makes everything on you smell extremely nasty) and as I was pulling on my stinky, blue work-slacks, I heard a loud, repetitive squeaking noise coming from the office. I peeked between the freezers and saw the office chair behind the desk rocking back and forth as if someone invisible was really giving it a workout. As I tried to take this in, the bare light-bulb hanging above the office desk, which was previously off, became extremely bright as if over-energized and exploded.

I made it down the (still very steep) stairs with my pants still around my ankles. My bosses, Lisa and Randell, a married couple, had arrived by this time so I pulled my pants up before they saw my underwear. Lisa asked what was wrong, that I looked really scared. I told them what happened and so Randell went up and confirmed that the bulb was still screwed into its socket, but not turned on. Still scared, I went up to see whether I was nuts and the bulb was still in one piece. As Randell unscrewed the busted bulb with a pair of pliers, I looked at the chair, which sat completely still, as it seemingly laughed in my face. At least the bulb busting had actually occurred.

I worked there for a little while longer and I never had such a similar, concrete experience. Many years later, the building had become a New Age spa, and I got up the gumption to ask them if they had ever had any strange experiences happen upstairs in the back. The woman I asked, who had been somewhat friendly up to this point, became cold and looked at me stonily as she denied anything else ever occurring.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, cfab, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

cfab (1 stories) (1 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-07-25)
Sorry it took me so long to return the favor with replies.

Narella and Argette, I agree with you that it was probably "Matilda" trying to get my attention, and say, "Hey! I'm here!"

Marine- thanks for the fist bump, and yes, it was pretty damn scary.

Valkricry, it was lucky I made it down the steps in one piece-- those steps were STEEP and I stumbled a couple of times, but fortunately, I was young at the time and was nimble enough to make it in one piece. I saw Randell and Lisa maybe 15-20 years ago. I think they have left town, sadly. Anyone else who worked there at the time are either dead or in unknown locales. I apologize, but I'm not sure I agree with your take on the atheists. A lot of people just never have experiences, so why should they believe in that hokum?

SDS- we all had some weird experiences there, some took them seriously, some didn't. The pans and utensils falling behind you was VERY common. The stripper/waitress was the only one I know of who was pushed down the stairs. I will go back and ask the current occupiers once the building has been reopened, however, I think it is still up for lease.

And thanks to all for the kudos for telling a good (true) story. I guess it helps when us lesser authors see these things with our own eyes.
Narella (guest)
-1
5 years ago (2013-04-29)
Wouldn't it be nice if spirits would just tap you on the shoulder to let you know they're there? I guess Maltida approved of you since you didn't get pushed on the stairs.
Marine (6 stories) (42 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-29)
Hello Cfab - What can I say...WOW! Really interesting experience. I have been a Marine with combat experience but I would probably pee in my pants had it happened to me. 😨

Thanks for sharing.
valkricry (39 stories) (2771 posts) mod
 
5 years ago (2013-04-28)
Cfab- I can not imagine trying to run down steep stairs with my pants around my ankles! You are so lucky you did not break your neck.
Some people will 'turn cold' when asked about the paranormal for a couple of reasons. Chiefly (at least in my experiance) the whole idea of spirits and such scares the bejeebus out of them. 2) A belief that ghosts, spirits and such are all 'evil' and of the devil and to speak of them is to invite them into our lives, and 3rdly, denial: Ghosts do not exist and YOU must be crazy / they did experience something but do not want to think about it. I'm sure there are other reasons as well, but these are ones that I'm aware of.
If you still have contact with the old owners or coworkers you might ask them if they ever experienced anything.
sds (14 stories) (1357 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-28)
Hello cfab, that was a nice narration and thanks for sharing. You said that one of the lady employees was pushed while she was getting down stairs. You also did mention that the pans and utensils falling off the hooks. Did you share this information to any other co-workers apart from the bosses. What was their reaction and if you had, I feel perhaps they would have shared their encounters with you. Even though you did try to find out what happened through a woman and she turned cold after your question, don't be disheartened. Still, if it is possible, try to find out and post your results of investigation.

I admit that it would have been a really scary experience you had.

Regards and respects to you.

SDS
Argette (guest)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-27)
You tell a good story, Cfab. I can visualize the area, even though I've never been there. You added some great details. What an odd incident! Something - or someone - was teasing you and possibly shattered the bulb to get your attention. I would have been terrified.

Thanks for posting. And welcome!

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